Bram Bos Intros Mononoke Expressive Drone Synthesizer For iOS

Developer Bram Bos has introduced Mononoke for iOS, describe as an ‘Expressive Drone Synthesizer’.

It’s an 8 voice polyphonic synthesizer, designed for musical soundscapes and evolving textures. All voices can be routed into each other using feedback, which creates constantly changing overtones and dynamics in the sound.

Complex soundscapes can be created live, using the 8 performance pads, which let you modulate each voice independently in several dimensions. Your interactions with the pads will also be sent out as MPE/MIDI (when loaded as an AU plugin in a compatible host) so you can record and tweak your session.

The onscreen pads can be latched individually so some voices can be used as drones, while others as can be added and removed as extra sonic layers. The pads are fully integrated in the Audio Unit plugin.

Mononoke is designed as an AUv3 plugin, with advanced Audio Unit features such as MPE input and output, a fully exposed array of AU parameters for automation and all the connectivity and scalability you can expect from modern plugins.

Features:

  • Audio Unit (AUv3) plugin
  • 8 voice polyphony, 2 independent engines with 4 voices each
  • Compatible with MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) and MIDI
  • MIDI Input and Output (only available when used as an Audio Unit plugin)
  • Limited standalone mode for jamming (full screen, no connectivity)
  • 8 independently tunable performance pads for expressive interaction
  • Universal, fully scalable to any screen size, supports fullscreen mode in AU hosts
  • Freely tunable voices, or quantized to semitones (with overall finetuning)
  • iOS10 (MIDI/MPE output from the plugin requires iOS11) or higher

Pricing and Availability

Mononoke is available now for $8.99 USD.

14 thoughts on “Bram Bos Intros Mononoke Expressive Drone Synthesizer For iOS

  1. Was an impulse buy for me, since it is close to a software Lyra-8 and I like His Dark Materials. I found the (maybe 30) included presets rather similar which leads me to conclude the breadth of variation this can make is limited. You will have heard it all in the couple of videos. That said, it does sound pretty awesome and is rewarding to play with the pads. Eventide Black Hole makes it better.

    1. It’s one where RTFMing (Reading the Fine Manual) pays off. Some of the effects of certain controls are rather subtle and it’s true that factory presets tend to sound similar, especially if you play them “straight”. The synth has more breadth once you start playing through the interactions between pads. Still pretty subtle. As befits a dronesynth.
      The MPE controller itself is pretty neat (and does work with other synths). Makes me wonder why nobody else did per-note sustain, before. (At least, that I know of.) Works really well with ROLI Noise (I was initially saying PPG Infinite, as it sounded really good; there’s some weirdness in the way it handles MPE, it sounds like). And, as a controller, Mononoke pairs well with MPE controllers like the ROLI Lightpad M.

      1. I’m hoping it’s got more to give than my first impressions captured. All Bram Bos apps have been an instant hit with me, so I just bought this without thinking, but have been quite underwhelmed so far. I’ll read the manual and see where it goes.

      2. Thanks for the suggestion. After reading the manual (which is clear and short), I found a lot more variety. The feedback routing is the trick.

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